In the Footsteps of My Father
My father, Albert Pasick, died in 1999 without ever giving me many details about his time in the service. I knew that he had been a medic in the Army in the Middle East and had attained the rank of sergeant. Beyond that, he was reluctant to share many more details.
After his death, I tried to research what he was doing in the Middle East. All I had to draw from were several photos of him in his army uniform. Scrawled on the back were some familiar names: Baghdad, Tehran, Beirut, Cairo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Palestine.
Through my research I learned that he had been in the Middle East on a secret mission to supply Russia with fuel, trucks and jeeps, and ammunition. Through this crucial supply line, which ran mostly through Iran, the US and British troops were able to fortify Stalingrad for a crucial standoff which turned the tide of World War II.
Based on the pictures which I had seen throughout my life, I conceived the idea of returning to the Middle East with my father. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this before his death, but I was determined to do it in my lifetime. So, when I received the invitation from my cousins to tour Israel, I was eager to sign up for the trip.
My dad was thrilled when Palestine became Israel in 1949. One of the pictures showed him praying in Jerusalem at the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Jerusalem. The tradition is to leave a note in the cracks of the wall, as a prayer and offering to God. It was one of my greatest life moments to leave a note to my father, telling him that I was praying for him and his ever expanding family at the Western Wall.